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The Journey of Everyday Leadership

Month

March 2017

Friday Quote

“In almost every case, the factors that eventually undermine us are shadows of the ones that contribute to our success.”

Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

(McIntosh & Rima, 2007, p. 22)

What motivations are driving you toward success in leadership today? Do any of them stem from broken places that merit examination?

Acknowledging Brokenness

 

In a recent post, I suggested three practical steps to addressing burnout (and potential isolation) in leadership:

  1. Leaders must own their past areas of brokenness and address them.
  2. They must find healthy ways to express emotions, and safe places to do so.
  3. They should pursue rhythms of reflection and Sabbath.

Several readers later affirmed that these topics might, indeed, merit further discussion.

Let’s dive deeper into the first one, keeping in mind that our intention is not to present an “Easy 3-Step Formula,” but to pursue wholeness. Brokenness often stems from leadership crisis, complexity, betrayal, loneliness, weariness, and even admiration. This vulnerability, if not addressed, can unveil our leadership “dark sides.”

In 2007, McIntosh & Rima identified some of these common “dark sides.”

  • Compulsive leaders may use control, order, and perfection to try and cover brokenness.
  • Narcissistic leaders sometimes place image, approval, and admiration above integrity and friendships.
  • Paranoid leaders can allow insecurities to dominate, driving them to constantly fear the success of others.
  • Codependent leaders might cover up problems for the sake of keeping the peace, even resulting in tolerance of unhealthy behaviors.
  • Passive-Aggressive leaders often possess an underlying skepticism about life, whose symptoms include resistance to change and manipulative use of emotion.

While we all possess dark side tendencies, there are ways to acknowledge and address them.

In the Kingdom of God, it is not the past that defines us, but the future. The Apostle Paul said “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [she] is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17, ESV).

I previously shared a bit of my struggle with depression/anxiety. In light of Christ, I no longer consider myself a depressed person, but rather, a redeemed son who experienced depression as a part of my journey.

Acknowledging the past helps free leaders from the power of brokenness and move forward in new identity. Is there a place of brokenness that you might acknowledge to experience God’s grace today?

Daniel Gluck serves as Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies at Jessup, and Lead Faculty for the B.A. in Christian Leadership program.

Friday Quote

“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower other people to lead.” — Bill George, Discover Your True North: 56

Is your leadership (at the home, the church, or the marketplace) about your own importance, or about releasing others into their potential and strength? Building a followership is not the same as empowering others.

Clocks & Compasses

When Avon’s Executive VP Andrea Jung was passed over for CEO at age 39, her board member Ann Moore, then CEO of Time Inc., gave her some great advice: “Follow your compass and not your clock.”

Compass symbolLeaders regularly have clocks in their heads; time-frames within which certain things should happen in their lives. I’m not talking about project deadlines. We have plenty of those, too. Rather, at a higher level, perhaps fueled by selfish ambition, we assume that our leadership trajectory should reach particular points by particular times.

This can be as true in a church as a business.

Over the years I have spoken with many leaders who have expressed some degree of frustration because “I thought by now that I would be…” They have worked hard and “expected more to happen by now.”

The clocks all have different sizes and settings. Perhaps it’s two years to achieve certain growth objectives (congregational size, business profits, or something similar). Perhaps it’s three years to achieve certain leadership status (a senior or executive role of some kind). Perhaps it’s measured even in decades by some of us, expecting that by our 50’s we would have our greatest influence and opportunities. Clocks and more clocks. They tick away relentlessly within many of us.

Ann Moore’s advice helps us get perspective.

What matters most is not the incessant tick-tocking in our minds, but the compasses in our hearts. Ultimately, we cannot control our circumstances; we can only control our character. And if we compromise our character simply to accelerate the clock, we will forfeit what matters most.

Bill George calls this our “True North.” Have we identified the core values and principles that will guide our lives, even under the pressure of “the clock”? This compass approach to leadership helps us remain authentic and true to God. He determines the times and seasons, not us.

Perhaps you’ve been wrestling recently with the current season of your life. “Follow your compass, not your clock.”

 

 

 

3for3 Interview – Ryan Haynes

Greetings Leaders!

This week – our team opted to launch something new – an opportunity for you to periodically hear from people of influence about lessons learned in leadership and ministry. We kick off our new “3for3” Series with William Jessup Campus Pastor, Ryan Haynes.

We simply ask our guests 3 leadership questions in about 3 minutes – lending insight into practical, everyday leadership. Click and enjoy! =)

Jessup Leadership Team

Friday Quote

“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Gen. Colin Powell

 

The next time someone brings you a problem, try reframing it. Instead of “Not another problem from…”, but “Wow, this person trusts me and they expect I can bring about a good conclusion.”

Kids and Leadership

Kids make great leaders. What? Often I hear leadership development addressed as an adult topic, among adults, with adults. But that is not the whole story.

While walking with my wife one morning, we cut through an elementary school corridor. It was a unique place. There were signs and symbols everywhere that modeled a leadership focus for the school. Walls signs read “Leadership Lane” and “Win-Win Way, and Synergy Circle.” I learned later this school had embraced the “Leader in Me Journey.” It is not a program or a curriculum, but a way of doing leadership with kids. They call it everyday leadership.

Children

It began in 2009 with Muriel Summers, Principal of A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C. She identified leadership as her school magnet theme based on community feedback. After approaching FranklinCovey they partnered in designing, developing, and implementing a leadership model for her school, which drew on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and educational best practices.

A.B. Combs Elementary experienced what they viewed as a complete turnaround, ultimately being named #1 Magnet School in the United States. Summers said, “We only get one chance to prepare children for a world none of us can possibly predict. What are we going to do with that one chance?”

Instead of seeing children through the lens of “some are naturally smart and others are not,” The Leader in Me model sees every child as capable, every child a leader. As the website boasts, “This paradigm changes everything.”

Their paradigm is:

  • Everyone can be a leader.
  • Everyone is a genius.
  • Change starts with me.
  • Educators empower students to lead their own learning.
  • Education is the development of the whole person.

Imagine our schools, churches, and home life embracing leadership training starting in childhood? How different could our world be? If you want to learn more, check out theleaderinme.org website.

Kids do make great leaders. How might you impact the young leaders around you today!!

Click this video to hear a young leader describe her experience with The Leader in Me:

 

 

 

Friday Quote

If we as leaders don’t acknowledge our own brokenness, we will project the subtle lie that maturity means “having it all together.”

– Bill Shereos

One of the greatest challenges of leadership is resisting the urge to always have the “right answer” – or appear to have it “all together.” Perhaps you need to pursue authentic leadership today by admitting a mistake or acknowledging a weakness that may have damaged another. What step might you take today to lead from your true self?

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